Meet Alexandra Thursfield, the founder of The (absolutely delectable) Daily Bar.
When Alexandra saw a gap in the market for an extremely healthy, extremely delicious snack that could be eaten daily, she decided to fill it with The Daily Bar. With this, she was also very aware that most snack products available on the market are packaged in plastic, and did not want to add to this already out-of-control problem with the common “a minute on the lips, a lifetime (plus 900+ years) in landfill) mentality.
Believe it or not, The Daily Bar didn’t pick up from the get-go because consumers didn’t realise their delicious products were a wholesome everyday snack.
What made you start The Daily Bar?
It sounds cliché but initially, I just felt like there was a huge gap in the market for a truly healthy snack. From that point, I began to really evaluate how I could create a brand with impact.
I felt like there was so much opportunity, and to some extent, necessity, to bring purist health into the mainstream, and an absolute necessity for businesses to reduce their impact on the planet!
I think the combination of purpose and passion is a force to be reckoned with, so the inspiration for the brand just flooded in.
What has been the most challenging thing you have uncovered since the beginning?
We are not a treat! I repeat: we are not a treat, we’re an everyday snack essential.
I naively assumed that people would understand and therefore fall in love with our product instantly, although the reality is that for the most part we’re having to educate and communicate, which is rewarding, yet challenging in the same breath.
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
“Don’t let the bastards get you down.”
When you’re so emotionally invested in what you’re doing, it’s hard not to be hurt by criticism or negative feedback.
It can still be a hard pill to swallow, but, no matter who you are, or what you do; people will love you, people will hate you, and some of the time it just won’t have anything to do with you. So just keep being authentically you… and don’t let the bastards get you down.
Why was it important to you to make your brand sustainable?
It wasn’t just important, it was essential. We all know too much now to not be sustainable thinkers. Take plastic for example. 15 years ago, the majority of us were using it like there was no tomorrow, because we weren’t educated. But there is a tomorrow, and we’re now aware that plastic is a material created to last—it literally doesn’t break down. Every piece of single use plastic we’ve ever used in our lifetime still exists. A minute on the lips, a lifetime (plus 900+ years) in landfill, filling our earth from the inside out, and you’re just an unconscious asshole if you know things like this and still aren’t inspired to change your ways.
The scope of the problem though can become quite disempowering, so we want to give power to the people through leading by example and showing just how easy it is to be an environmental champion!
What is something others wouldn’t know about starting a sustainable business that you think they should?
You’ll feel like a fraud sometimes, because inevitably there will be little things you do that aren’t sustainable, not for lack of will, there just simply isn’t a way. But sit in that uncomfortable feeling for a hot minute, and use it as a renewable energy source to motivate you. Be really grateful you’ve taken this sustainable path and remember those uncomfortable feelings are only fleeting.
One tip you’d give to others who are wanting to start their own business?
Believe in what you’re doing with every cell in your body – you’re going to need that belief to get you through the tough times (there will be many). Work your bloody ass off, and be a nice person (it’ll get you a long way!).
Where do you envision The Daily Bar in the future?
I’m an ardent believer in doing one thing and doing that one thing really well, but having said that, Harry and I are big dreamers! We’re continually frustrated by the archaic mindsets and norms within the food system. For young fresh eyes, a lot of things just don’t make sense in terms of the bigger picture—I mean, what we eat, how we fuel ourselves—so ultimately our health and how we feel, it’s all pretty much driven by commercial viability. So I guess the big dream is to create an overarching food brand that challenges this. It’s pretty simple: we just want to create honestly healthy food that’s accessible, that’s good for us, good for the planet, and at the end of the day, that gets people excited!
What or who inspires you to do what you do on a daily basis?
I feel incredibly fortunate to be leading the life I lead. Living in Byron, where the environment and the natural landscape are such a focal part of my life, it’s a daily reminder of how it’s the simple things that truly matter, and how it’s the simple things that give me such a deep sense of happiness. I think my health and my happiness are so intrinsically linked too, and I know how good eating well makes me feel, and I think my inspiration just comes from wanting to help others find their own version of that feeling.
Do you have a morning routine? If so, what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?
Yes, movement & coffee! My morning really does define my day. Emails, spreadsheets and all the other unglamorous office-bound elements of running a business mean that I spend a lot more time than I’d like inside and sitting still, so that first little window in the morning before I get stuck into my working day is very precious to me.
Movement is essential, and each morning’s activity very much depends on the waves, the weather and my mood. Every morning always involves coffee though, an absolute non-negotiable.
I’m so lucky to work with my best friend, Harry, who coincidentally (or not) shares the same sentiments towards surfing and coffee. So we love to start our day together hatching game plans and having completely over-caffeinated, but inspired, visionary conversations about where we’d like to take the brand. These special morning moments really are the fuel behind The Daily Bar.
One book everyone should read? Why?
Course of Love, Alain de Botton
Small business is hard, and at times grossly consuming. I’ve found that for me, the key to my business thriving, is a thriving me. So I’ve made the decision outside of regular working hours, to prioritise the focus on me as a sane, happy human not as a business owner.
Back to the book, this man has significantly enhanced my understanding of both myself and others, just read, listen, watch anything you can of Alain, it’ll change your life!
If you’re into podcasts his episode of On Being with Krista Tippett, The True Hard Work of Love and Relationships, was quite possibly the most profound 50 minutes of my life so far.
Are there any other Movers & Shakers our there in your world that you think people should know about?
Bec Nolan (@peachlings), she is the design genius behind all our branding and packaging, and has the absolutely Midas touch when it comes to anything design/style related.
She is the definition of a humble hustler, with a tenaciously strong moral compass to boot ~ she’s just one of those people that make you want to be a better person when in her company.
You need her latest creation on your face this summer (@velvetcanyon), like everything Bec does, Velvet Canyon promotes diversity and equality ~ power to la femme!